Home > Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea > President Momis slams Sharp’s response to ferry disaster

President Momis slams Sharp’s response to ferry disaster

Bougainville Pre­sident John Momis has expressed dismay and outrage at the “contemptuous” response to victims of the mv Rabaul Queen disaster by Rabaul Shipping owner Peter Sharp.

“Through­out this tra­gedy, he (Sharp) has remained mostly silent and when issuing any comments it would appear as if these were contemptuous of the effect of the incident on the families and those involved in the tragedy.

“His attitude, in no small way, has contri­buted to the unfortunate unfolding of events.”

“He has not displayed the characteristics of a good corporate citizen of Bougainville or Papua New Guinea.”

While careful to separate the burning of Sharp’s three ships in Buka as the work of criminals and condemning it unequivocally, Momis said Sharp’s own attitude in the affair could unwittingly have spurred the unfortunate turn of events.

“The ABG respects the tradition of the rule of law and respects the rights of private ownership.

“We do not share in the belief that one wrong action justifies another, no matter how tragic the circumstances,” Momis said.

Militant elements res­ponsible for the burning of the ships and relatives of those who perished with the Rabaul Queen on Feb 2 went further than the president in their meeting of March 20 at Kokopau.

Along with two ABG House of Representative members, the group resolved to ban all Rabaul Shipping activities in Bougainville.
Among others, the resolutions call for:

  • Peter Sharp not to be allowed to operate in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville in future due to the situation experienced;
  • Veterans and families of those who lost their lives in MV Rabaul Queen to be allowed to pick up the remaining copra in the ships storage to be resold to recover cost of those providing security of the boats;
  • The three hulled out boats to be towed out and sold as scrap metal and the proceeds be retained by families and veterans providing guard; and,
  • No threats to be issued to any other shipping companies and that they are welcome and free to operate into Bougainville waters.
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